What Australia does well

Yesterday was a good day. The sun was shining, I woke up in a free country and about 11am an email from my daughter Lucy dropped into my inbox. It made my day. She was sharing a link to an article in Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, written by Fairfax’s ‘globetrotter on a shoestring’, Ben Groundwater. He is now residing temporarily in another country and is missing certain aspects of Australian life. So he listed the eleven things that he thinks we do well – really well. In Ben’s opinion, these are

  1. Pedestrian safety
  2. Customer service
  3. Sausage rolls
  4. Avoidance of bureaucracy
  5. Friendly rivalries
  6. Varied cuisine
  7. Avoidance of chaos
  8. Sporting events
  9. Coffee
  10. Camaraderie
  11. The weather

If you want to know why he chose these features, read Ben’s full article here.

Time to quit whingeing

I loved Ben’s article as it reminded me of how lucky I am to be born in Australia and therefore to have an automatic right to enjoy all the things he thinks we do well. If I had been born in the Sudan, for instance, the first 17 years of my life would have coincided with a bloody civil war. If I survived that, starvation might have then claimed my loved ones or me. And this is true for many countries around the world where corrupt regimes, civil wars, famines and terrorism mean the simple everyday activities enjoyed by most Australians are denied to these other citizens. For this reason I decided to frame this blog as a call for all of us to stop whingeing about life in Australia – and to start celebrating the attributes that do make us a lucky, lucky country and a great place to live.

So what are my top 11 things that I think we do well? It was very easy to come up with the following list:

  1. Sunshine
  2. Democracy
  3. The best beaches in the world
  4. Multicultural harmony
  5. Stunning natural landscapes
  6. Clean & green food
  7. A robust social welfare safety net
  8. Universal access to medical services
  9. Mateship
  10. Ingenuity
  11. A strong sense of ‘can do’

What about you? Do you agree with this list? Or have you got a better one? Tell us your top 11 and we will send DVDs to the five lists judged, by Drew, to be the most interesting.